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Fun and Funk in the Desert

Named after a 1960s French rock ‘n’ roll hit by Jacques Dutronc, the 27-room Les Cactus Palm Springs in California brings to life an “Airbnb-meets hotel” experience unique to the desert.

The historic 1930s property was refreshed under the direction of L.A.-based hotelier/designer Matthew Kurtz in partnership with local hoteliers Richard Crisman and Jeff Brock. Together they delivered a new, whimsical boutique hotel with minimalistic yet chic design and approachable service.

“When designing the hotel, we wanted to come up with something fun, funky and affordable, which served as our guiding principle and inspiration,” said Kurtz. “The hotel name, Les Cactus, is inspired by the Les Cactus album, featuring a colorful and vibrant cover, which serves as constant inspiration throughout the hotel from design to musical anecdotes all around. We took this even further, creating a ‘cactus’ theme throughout, which includes the Pistol Pete giant cactus that greets all of our guests.”

Reinvigorating the neighborhood’s hospitality scene, Les Cactus boasts a clean and eclectic California design aesthetic, which includes its signature pink exterior with green and white stripped accents. The pet-friendly hotel includes a mix of one-bedroom suites and studios, many of which feature large kitchenettes. The beautifully appointed, bungalow-style guestrooms are light and breezy with a mix of contemporary and vintage furnishings and decor from vendors including Gucci Garden, 1st Dibs, Selamat, Zia Tile, Serena and Lily, CB2, West Elm, HAY, One King’s Lane and Rejuvenation.

Kurtz received inspiration from the hotel’s 1930s roots. “The property itself was built in the 1930s, which adds a vintage Palm Springs feeling,” he said. “Guests are given the opportunity to explore the central courtyard and many niches throughout the space to relax, enjoy the company of other guests as well as find privacy. We have added curated playlists to set the tone, building on the personal touches that make this property unique.”

Les Cactus caters to the growing demographic of travelers who are increasingly self-sufficient and place more value on design, experience, and price point than superfluous amenities and services. “We want guests to feel as comfortable as they would in the home of a best friend or family member,” said Kurtz.

In addition to its guestrooms, hotel amenities include a heated pool and hot tub, a massage room for guests looking for extra relaxation, a hammock garden and rooftop deck, both perfect for gazing at the stars. Breakfast picnic baskets are delivered to rooms each morning with croissants from a local French bakery as well as yogurt, fruit and granola. Guests can purchase a variety of curated products from the hotel’s gift shop, including candles, organic mists and body oils, ceramics, and (of course) potted mini cacti.